3 May 2020
The government has today [Sunday, 3 May] announced it will be trialling a contact-tracing app on the Isle of Wight starting from tomorrow.
Vix Lowthion, Isle of Wight Green Party spokesperson, said:
“Everybody wants to see the end of this lockdown which is causing immense stress and pressure to both individuals and businesses, but it is vital that people’s health is put first and foremost.
“The Isle of Wight has a significantly older and more vulnerable population with limited access to medical support. There are serious concerns that the island’s one hospital could become overwhelmed if we see a significant increase in coronavirus cases because people feel they do not need to stick to lockdown measures due to the rolling out of this app.
“It is vital that before lockdown measures start to be lifted in any part of the UK we have a network of ‘community shields’ in place to ensure we can prevent the spread of Covid-19 through a strict test, trace and isolate strategy, in line with World Health Organisation guidance. 
“A single app is absolutely no substitute for a fully-resourced community-based protection scheme, as we have seen used so effectively in other countries.”
The Green Party has proposed a policy of “community shields”, which would be coordinated by Public Health England’s regional Outbreak Management Teams. The “shields” would use systems including the NHS 111 phone service, GP surgeries and local authority public health teams to identify those with symptoms, arrange for their testing and then trace all their contacts in order to stamp out outbreaks of the virus in the communities where it’s happening.